Until recently, responding to Human Trafficking was considered the task of the police. It is now recognised that healthcare providers have the potential to play a crucial role in human trafficking prevention, identification and intervention.
Trafficked patients are often unidentified due to lack of education and preparation available to healthcare professionals at all levels of training and practice. The medical sector is increasingly open to opportunities to attend training and awareness-raising regarding human trafficking.
In Albania, MWL staff have just completed presenting an intensive series of seminars on Human Trafficking – identification and action , amongst the medical professions in Tirana, centring on the provocative question ‘’Who is in your waiting room?’’
Areas covered in the seminars were: What are the health risks associated with Human Trafficking?; How can healthcare professionals help to prevent Human Trafficking?; How do Human Trafficking victims use the healthcare services?; What roles can healthcare professionals play in treating victims and survivors?; What resources are available to victims?; What are the healthcare needs of victims during recovery?
While human trafficking is a complex and pervasive human rights issue and crime, healthcare is one of the few places where victims encounter a professional in a safe setting and possibly have an opportunity to consider options to escape the trafficking situation.
It is likely that training and working with the medical sector will broaden and deepen RENATE’s reach in its efforts to combat and end Human Trafficking and Exploitation.
Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.